Opening Reception: Friday September 23, 6-8 pm
[RSVP for Reception]
Artist Talk: Saturday September 24, 2pm
Final Look: Sunday September 25, 10am-12:30pm
Featuring ‘Legends of the SMS,’ 13 new works by West Texas artist Lucile Wedeking, opposite a curated selection from the Western Gallery Impermanent Collection, which represents 20 artists from across the American West. All works will be available for acquisition.
(AUSTIN, TEXAS – August 18, 2022) – Abstract to photorealistic, classic to contemporary—Western Gallery has shown artwork that fits all those descriptors, but never in person until now.
“It’s our first meatspace exhibition!” founder and director George Irwin says of Western Gallery’s debut pop-up exhibition planned for September 23-25 in South Austin. Maybe not what you’d expect from the owner of a gallery focused on cowboys and western landscapes, but then, this isn’t your typical western art gallery, and Irwin isn’t a typical gallery director.
Irwin incorporated Western Gallery in January of 2020 with the goal of serving contemporary western art collectors with an online-first model, curating work from artists he’d met primarily on Instagram. After two years of successful online group shows (featuring artists from Austin, across the West and around the world) and an expanding online program, Irwin is more than ready to host this first pop-up event.
“Western Gallery’s collectors have been waiting a long time for an exhibition IRL,” Irwin states, again revealing his tech background. He notes there have been informal meet-ups and in-person studio visits along the way, but that he’s thrilled to be exhibiting work in person.
“Everyone knows there’s nothing like seeing a painting in person. I don’t care how good your screen is—it’s just not the same. That’s been a selling point for WG, actually, because if you love something you see on your screen enough to acquire it, you’re blown away when you unpack it in your home. But this [in-person exhibition] is next level.”
Despite never having shown work in-person before, Western Gallery has placed work from hundreds of artists into notable collections across the West. Irwin says that his biggest client bases are in Austin and Denver, and he hopes to make in-person exhibitions a regular occurrence, though his primary focus will still be online sales. Perhaps the online/pop-up gallery is a new model for a new generation of art collectors?
The September 23 Austin pop-up will feature a solo show of West Texas artist Lucile Wedeking’s new body of work opposite curated works from Western Gallery’s Impermanent Collection artists. Numerous artists from across the West will be in attendance.